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When a Stranger Calls | 2006 | PG-13 | - 2.5.3

Remake of the eponymous 1979 film: A young woman is babysitting in an extremely isolated home, and becomes uneasy when someone begins to telephone her asking, "have you checked the children?" He seems to know everything that she is doing, but the police are unable to do anything to help her and eventually she must confront the stalker before he kills her. With Camilla Belle, Katie Cassidy, Brian Geraghty and Tessa Thompson. Directed by Simon West. [1:23]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A young woman wears a short top that reveals cleavage, bare abdomen and bare lower back, and when she bends down a hint of her buttock cleavage is visible. Three high school aged girls wear tight-fitting tracksuits that reveal cleavage, bare shoulders, abdomens and legs.
 A young woman talks about her boyfriend kissing her best friend.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A young woman sees the dead body of another young woman (her eyes appear discolored). A young woman hides in a pond, she goes under water and sees the body of a woman held under by a rock placed on her chest.
 A man holds a young woman by the throat, she gasps, she starts a fire in a fireplace and the man is singed on his back and falls to the floor; she then stabs him in the hand with a fireplace poker and he is pinned to the floor (we hear a crunch and the man yells).
 A man grabs a hank of a young woman's hair, she pulls away and leaves his hand full of hair.
 A man grabs a young woman, throws her down on the floor, she gets up, he trips her, she kicks him, he knocks her head against a glass wall, she kicks him off the stairs, and runs away. A man grabs at a young woman hiding in a pond, she pulls away, she kicks him, he falls in the water, and she runs.
 A young woman is grabbed by a man in her room when she goes to answer her phone, and she screams. A young woman looks up to the ceiling rafters and sees a man hiding there; she runs, he jumps down and chases her.
 A young woman leaves a house in the dark, tries to move a fallen branch that's blocking her car, and something rushes toward her from the dark woods and the scene ends.
 A young woman hears noises in the dark house where she is babysitting and goes to investigate in several scenes: One time she grabs a fireplace poker to carry with her. A young woman leaves a dark house, runs through dark woods toward a guest house, gets inside, and is frightened when no one is there. A young woman opens a toy chest and finds two young children hiding inside. Someone pounds loudly on the door of a house, a young woman opens the door and no one is there. A young woman searches for two children, she pulls back their bedclothes and they are not there. A young woman follows the ring of a telephone set through a dark house and is startled by a hat and jacket hanging on a wall. A young woman follows the sound of running shower water, and she opens the shower curtain to find nothing.
 A young woman answers the phone and the caller says that he wants her blood all over him. A young woman is frightened when she answers the phone and the person on the other end of the line seems to be able to see her and know what she is doing. The telephone rings and we hear someone breathing on the other end of the line.
 A police detective opens the door of a bedroom and is horrified by what he sees (we do not see anything but his expression). A cat eats a bird. We see police officers carrying several blood stained body bags from a crime scene suggesting that the victim(s) may have been dismembered. A man has a large scar across his cheek.
 A young woman screams and thrashes while three people try to hold her. We see the silhouette of a person in a window, we hear screaming and the silhouette appears to be pulled down or knocked down.
 We hear news reports of a man stalking and killing young women. Eerie music swells in several scenes. A young woman snoops around in a house where she is babysitting.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 1 sexual reference, 2 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (jerks, idiots), 4 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - None.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Responsibility, serial murder, punishment, fear, friendship, jealousy, infidelity, love, trust, babysitters-in-peril films.

MESSAGE - Babysitting can be a really scary experience.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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